The four “Reagan Socialists”, whose cunning scheme to get elected to the Hume council with professionally designed material pledging rates freezes and spending cuts succeeded, have stunned local observers by voting up a Liberal aligned councillor from Sunbury as the Mayor for the next year.
Socialist Left Councillors (Carr sub-faction) Ros Spence, Helen Patsikatheodorou, Vic Dougall and Geoff Porter combined with conservative Jack Ogilvie to freeze out their Labor colleagues as part of what critics have condemned as aÂ “sleazy deal.”
Ros Spence, a lawyer by training and the alleged brains of the operation, conducted the negotiation with the former Bernie Finn ally, independent conservative Jack Ogilvie who has been a local councillor in the Sunbury area since the 1980s.
In return, Spence has been appointed the council’s Municipal Association of Victoria delegate, enabling her to extend her influence throughout other councils, in a planned re-enactment of the domino theory.
The cunning plan to lock out the Labor moderates has been equated by Labor insiders with the dark days of Eric Locke’s rule of Head Office, where everyone but the Left were locked out and a Pol Pot style of leadership was transacted.
It’s a family affair in Hume too. Ros Spence – who works for SL MP Liz Beattie – is married to feared leftist with military training Kosmos Samaras of Greenvale.
Helen Patsikatheodorou works for federal MP Maria Vamvakinou, who attended the council meeting last night, the only MP in attendance, despite reportedly battling serious illness in the form of pneumonia. Maria apparently came straight from the Airport to the Broady Town Hall.
Councillor Vic Dougall’s wife Joanne works for Maria too and she is believed to be Vic’s puppet-master. Vic has previously served on the council where in three years, he spoke around four times as part of his clearly very effective effort in giving other councillors a go at meetings. He partly succeeded in that by sleeping through many of the meetings.
“This Famous Five of four socialists and a Tory are now firmly in control of Hume and will have take responsibility for what happens now. The most experienced councillors have been frozen out,” said one concerned local observer.